Elgin neighbor group strives to Make a Difference
By Denise Moran For Sun-Times Media October 27, 2013 2:32PM
Hanover Township Supervisor Brian McGuire (third from right) poses with Elgin residents who donated food and clothing items for Make A Difference Day. | Denise Moran~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 30, 2013 7:56PM
ELGIN — Residents along Fawn Lane in Elgin gathered at their neighbor Jane Parker’s home Saturday morning for coffee, doughnuts, hot cider and the opportunity to help the less fortunate.
Every year for the past eight years, homeowners of the 32 residences along Fawn Lane have participated in Make A Difference Day, which is held on the fourth Saturday of October.
According to USA Weekend, “more than 3 million people help 20 million others on this annual day of volunteering.”
The Elgin homeowners brought donated food items to fill the Hanover Township Food Pantry van that parked in Parker’s driveway on Saturday. This year, members also brought donated coats and jackets.
Hanover Township Supervisor Brian McGuire, along with Tom Kuttenberg, township director of community relations, came to Parker’s home Saturday. McGuire has attended the volunteer effort at Parker’s home for the past eight years. This year marks Kuttenberg’s third time at the event.
“The food pantry normally serves 1,000 people a month,” McGuire said. “In November, December and January, that number goes up to 1,500 people. We provide staff for the food pantry, but it is really a community venture that runs on donations and volunteers. We have been filling the van every year. Without this help, we wouldn’t be able to stock the pantry shelves. The township appreciates this effort.”
McGuire said the food pantry was started 30 years ago by former township trustee Mary Ellen Runzel. The Mel Runzel Award, named in her honor, was presented this year to Parker, who served as a volunteer for 20 years on the Hanover Township Committee on Youth.
As residents enjoyed the coffee and doughnuts inside Parker’s home that were provided by the Woodland Meadows East Homeowners Association, McGuire updated them on township activities.
“The community relations office at One American Way in Elgin will close on Friday, Dec. 13,” McGuire said. “We will open our new office at the Izaak Walton League Center and Reserve on Tuesday, Dec. 17. The township is now fixing up the lodge at the center, which was built in 1939.”
The Izaak Walton League of America, Elgin Chapter, donated the 11-acre site to the township in March 2013.
McGuire also said that the Streamwood Park District has turned over the 2.6-acre Lacy Reserve in Streamwood to the township. McGuire said that township crews have been rehabbing the site.
Hanover Township includes parts of Streamwood, Bartlett, Hanover Park, Elgin, Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates.
Fawn Lane residents usually get together once a month. In addition to the annual food drive for the pantry, events have included fish fry and bingo at the American Legion Hall, a trip to Sycamore Speedway, the Bluff City Cemetery walk in Elgin, and the annual Christmas party and cookie exchange. The Christmas party this year will be held at Villa Olivia in Bartlett.
The group’s purpose is “to encourage residents of Fawn Lane to come together and enjoy activities, get to know their neighbors better, and have the opportunity to meet the needs of one another when needed.”
Carol Yelland said she is one of the group’s original members.
“I moved here in 2001,” Yelland said. “I think this group is fabulous.”